These emergency prep supplies are tax-free in Texas April 23-25

State offers a tax holiday for emergency supplies each year

SAN ANTONIO – Every spring in Texas, the state offers a tax holiday for emergency supplies to help people prepare for events like hurricanes and violent spring storms.

This year’s holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 25.

There is no limit on the number of items purchased, but there are price limits for individual items.

For example, only generators that cost less than $3,000 are eligible for the tax freebie.

The list includes flashlights, batteries, lanterns and non-electric can openers — things that come in handy when the power goes out.

Ice chests priced less than $75 are eligible, too.

These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:

Less than $3,000:

  • Portable generators

Less than $300:

  • Emergency ladders
  • Hurricane shutters

Less than $75:

  • Axes
  • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
  • Can openers - nonelectric
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
  • Fire extinguishers
  • First aid kits
  • Fuel containers
  • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
  • Hatchets
  • Ice products - reusable and artificial
  • Light sources - portable self-powered (including battery operated). Examples of items include: candles, flashlights and lanterns
  • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
  • Radios - portable self-powered (including battery operated) - includes two-way and weather band radios
  • Smoke detectors
  • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

Several over-the-counter self-care items, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray and wipes, are always exempt from sales tax if they are labeled with a “Drug Facts” panel in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

These supplies do NOT qualify for tax exemption:

  • Medical masks and face masks
  • Cleaning supplies, such as disinfectants and bleach wipes
  • Gloves, including leather, fabric, latex and types used in healthcare
  • Toilet paper
  • Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves
  • Camping supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Plywood
  • Extension ladders
  • Stepladders
  • Tents
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies

Additional charges affect purchase price.

Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday.

Read more about the Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday online.

Here are some resources that can help you prepare for any emergency:


About the Authors:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.